Off Campus Living

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Being A Good Neighbor

Being a good neighbor is the right thing to do and it’s part of what prepares you to be an engaged citizen when you leave the University of Minnesota.

Things you can do to be a good neighbor:

  • Meet your neighbors
  • Sign up for your neighborhood association list-serv and
  • Shop local businesses and restaurants.
  • Volunteer with a local community organization.

If in a house rental:

  • Put out your garbage and recycling carts on the correct day and bring them back in before 6pm.
  • Please respectful about noise outside.
  • Keep your yard and front porch tidy
  • Do a good job on your yard care with mowing and raking.
  • Shovel your sidewalk right away after it snows.
  • Never block your neighbor’s sidewalk or driveway when parking.
  • Don’t leave huge piles of trash on the boulevard when you move out. Participate in the Pack & Give Back program

Light Rail

Meet Your Neighbors

  • Introduce yourself and your roommates to your neighbors and share cell phone numbers and emails so you can contact one another if there are any concerns.
  • Join for your neighborhood and participate!
  • Say hi to people when you are outside, taking a walk or getting your mail.
  • Be respectful with your neighbors, no matter the time of day or if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Ask your friends to do the same.
  • If you choose to host a gathering, keep it small. Minimize the impact on others. Ask your guests to only use your bathroom, not the bushes or outside of your house or neighbor’s house.
  • Ask your neighbors to keep an eye on your place if you will be gone over breaks.
Students Outside

Community Organizations

We partner with multiple community organizations that are a great resource for students and the surrounding community.


Restorative Justice Community Action: enables you to defer a livability citation if you participate in a community circle process to repair the harm to the community. Citations include underage consumption, noisy party, disruptive behavior, detox, public urination, etc.

Sheridan Story: works with local community orgs to reduce food insecurity on weekends for children in local schools who qualify for the free/reduced lunch program. Volunteers from many area churches help fundraise and pack food bags that are distributed confidentially into backpacks on Friday’s at Marcy Open School and Pratt School locally (in addition to almost 100 schools across the Twin Cities metro).

Neighborhood Associations

Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association: get involved in the oldest neighborhood in Mpls and help plan community events, respond to neighborhood concerns, provide input for n’hood planning like the redesign of the 5th St Pedestrian Bridge or the addition of bike lanes to 8th St SE, etc.

Southeast Como Improvement Association: this neighborhood has a huge focus on sustainability and environmental initiatives with some amazing community gardens and the FairShare Farm among other neighborhood projects.

Prospect Park Association: participate in a vibrant n’hood org that is working to improve the plans for growth around the 29th St Lightrail Station and the Tower Park area among other projects.

Cedar Riverside Community Council: this is the new neighborhood organization which is bringing together residents, businesses and students to work for the success of the Cedar Riverside area. Get involved in safety initiatives, covid-19 community response team volunteer opportunities and more.

Business Associations

Dinkytown Business Alliance

West Bank Business Association


Como Early Learning Center(Como Student Community Co-operative, SE Como)

Community Childcare Center (Commonwealth Terrace Student Family Housing Co-operative, St. Paul))

Miniapple Montessori (Marcy-Holmes)

University of Minnesota Child Development Center(SE Como)

Local Schools

Pratt Community School

Marcy Open School

Local Parks

For listings of Parks, please see the Resource Directory

Southeast Minneapolis

Southeast Seniors: helps seniors stay in their homes in the SE Mpls area and needs volunteers for yard care, help at home, rides and visits with local senior citizens.

Arvonne Fraser Library: your local public library at the corner of 4th St SE and 13th Ave SE offers great programming as well as study spaces and maker spaces for you or your small group to work on presentations, practice and more. Open Monday/Wednesdays/Fridays/Saturdays from 9am - 5pm and Tuesdays/Thursdays from 12pm-8pm.

Minneapolis Police Department: Meet your Crime Prevention Specialist and get involved in the 2nd Precinct Advisory Council to learn more about crime trends near your home.

University District Alliance: The University District Partnership Alliance is made up of interested and committed people from the University of Minnesota Minneapolis campus area neighborhoods, business associations, University student government, the City of Minneapolis, and the University of Minnesota. It also includes a growing number of friends and partners who are committed to achieving the vision of the Alliance.

Local Churches

Those we partner with currently:

Southeast Christian Church: a local church reaching out to students by providing study space, free wi-fi and coffee a few nights a week as well as opportunities to get involved and volunteer.

University Lutheran Church of Hope: a local church with an active justice and advocacy group that does quite a bit of programming geared toward student interests.

University Baptist Church: offers an amazing music ministry as well as justice and peace work. Check out the Roots Cellar Music Series.

St. Lawrence Catholic Church and Newman Center: take advantage of active programming for students weekly with opportunities for a retreat, spring break mission trip and more!

Seeds Covenant Church: active community which meet at Marcy Open School and help facilitate the Sheridan Story collaboration there at the school.

Other local churches:

Stadium Village Church: local church with international focus. Many volunteer opportunities and classes for international students.

Sojourn Campus Church: local church with focus on identity, community, and missions. Many small groups to join.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: local church with focus on missions and service.

Masjid Dar Omar Al-Farooq: Mosque focused on prayer, assisting the needy, education, and promoting the well-being of Muslims in Minnesota.

Universal Christian Ministries: church focused on inviting people and peace.

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311 vs. 911

If you live in the City of Minneapolis, 311 is a great tool. But sometimes people get confused about which tool to use, 311 or 911.

911 is the number to use when you need police, fire or ambulance response.

311 is the number to use when you need non-emergency City information or services.

311 is only open Monday - Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. If you are calling from outside the 612 area code, dial 612-673-3000.

Examples Of Use

911: assault, someone is passed out, you’ve been robbed, shots fired, suspicious behavior, party or noise complaint*.

311: street light is out (on a metal city pole), unresolved housing complaint, animal control, graffiti, impound lot, unshoveled sidewalk complaint

*People question if a party or noise complaint should go to 911- the Police department tells us it should go to 911 so dispatch can enter the info and it can become part of the paper trail about a problem property if need be. It may be a lower priority call for the Police to respond to, but it should go to 911.


Garbage & Recycling

Information about waste removal for specific properties can be found on your city's website. On the City of Minneapolis website you can learn how to prepare yard waste, learn about single-sort recycling, and find the different pickup schedules. For St. Paul and surrounding areas visit Eureka Recycling and Ramsey County for trash collection information.

Be sure to bring your cart back in same day. Don’t leave carts out and try to bag your items so they don’t blow around the neighborhood if your cart is knocked over.

Don’t use your recycling carts for trash. You can request additional trash containers if one is not sufficient for your unit.

Minneapolis Pick Up:

Garbage is picked up each week in Minneapolis.

Check your garbage pickup date for your address.

Recycling is picked up every other week in Minneapolis.

Check your recycling pickup date for your address.

St. Paul Pick Up:

Garbage and Recycling are picked up weekly in St. Paul. Haulers vary.


Pack and Give Back

Since it's inception, the Pack and Give Back program has diverted over 300k pounds of household items from landfills, and back to students and the neighborhood.

Help us by donating your reusable items when you are moving out each year. Help yourself by shopping the FREE STORE each fall and saving money on great supplies for your new apt or house.

The ReUse Program Warehouse is open for donation drop-offs from June 1st to August 24th, 9am-3pm Monday-Friday. Items collected on campus by the ReUse Program, or brought to the ReUse warehouse by students and neighborhood residents, will be part of the program's "Free Store". Based out of the ReUse warehouse (883 29th Avenue SE), all items in the Free Store will be offered free of charge to students from August 26th to September 7th.

Residents of neighborhoods Marcy-Holmes, Southeast Como, Cedar-Riverside, and Prospect Park may also shop the Free Store during the last week of the sale if they have made a donation.

DO NOT drop materials outside the ReUse warehouse overnight. This is considered illegal dumping and will be prosecuted. Materials for donation can only be accepted during normal business hours. Violators will be prosecuted.

Pack & Give Back is funded in part through a partnership with Hennepin County Environmental Services, in collaboration with City of Minneapolis Waste Management, the ReUse program, Off-Campus Living, Housing & Residential Life, and Community Relations at the University of Minnesota.

Shop the Free Store

  • Stop by the Pop Up Free Store at the Whole Music Club in Memorial Union on Tuesday, Aug. 30th from 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. during Welcome Week
  • Visit the ReUse program for the Free Aisle during Welcome Week and the first week of class.

Shop the ReUse Center (during the regular year outside of the Free Store)


Thursdays: 8:30am-5:00pm

Saturdays: 10am-4pm


General Public


883 29th Ave SE

Minneapolis, MN 55414



To prevent reusable items from entering the landfill.

Bruininks Hall


Step 1: Report it

Call 311 to report graffiti on your home or in your neighborhood. Even if you plan to clean up the graffiti yourself, make a report first. Clean City crews take photographs of the graffiti so police can track it or you can attach a photo to your online graffiti report. Homeowners and reporters of graffiti are encouraged to use the 311 app for iOS or Android.

Once the graffiti is reported, a deadline for cleanup will be mailed to the property owner. If the graffiti is not cleaned up within seven days of being notified, the city may remove or paint over the graffiti and the property owner will be billed for the cost of cleanup.

Step 2: Remove it

If the graffiti is on your property, it's your responsibility to clean it up. Free graffiti removal solvent is available at all Minneapolis fire stations.

Step 3: Prevent it

There are ways you can prevent your property from being targeted by graffiti vandals. Considering adding security lighting or other measures.

If you see graffiti or any other vandalism in progress, call 911. If you are able to identify the persons involved and it leads to their arrest and conviction, you could qualify for a reward.

Information from

Gateway Mural Project

One of the recent Liaison tagging prevention efforts has resulted in the Gateway Mural Project, a Tony Diggs award winning project. Located on the large (often tagged) retention walls underneath the train bridge on 15th Ave SE in the SE Como Neighborhood, this was a 2-year collaboration between OCL and artists Carly Schmitt ( and Sara Udvig ( with help from the Good Neighbor Fund, MN Legacy, MN Student Association, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, and many wonderful neighbors and neighborhood organizations.

This mural was not only used as a community-wide outlet for ideas and creativity, but also a colorful, engaging way to prevent continued tagging of the previously blank walls in SE Como.

The project is currently seeking volunteers who would like to be part of the mural upkeep team, making sure that any tagged sections of the mural get repainted, as well as general repainting of any weathered areas. Email if interested.



Minneapolis has some specific rules around recreational fires.

Some highlights to keep in mind:

  • Fires should be no larger than 3 feet wide and 2 feet high.
  • Keep fires at least 25 feet from a building.
  • Only burn untreated wood.
  • Only host recreational fires between 9am - 10pm.
  • At least one person 18 years of age or older should be supervising, and the fire should be put out before it is unattended.
  • Don’t host a recreational fire if it’s windy (above 10 mph) or if there’s an air pollution health advisory in effect.
  • Have a water hose or bucket of water or sand available for extinguishing the fire.

Other friendly advice:

  • Keep the noise down. Your neighbors likely have their windows open in summertime.
  • Pay attention to how late it is, especially if it’s a weeknight.
  • Don’t keep adding logs to the fire if you don’t plan to stay up with the fire.
  • Be aware of any low hanging branches nearby, trim back the area near the fire in advance.
  • Try out those new square marshmallows for your s’mores, and consider using peanut butter cups instead of a chocolate bar, it makes the s’mores pretty awesome. We’re also big fans of the telescoping skewers for roasting marshmallows as well. You can order them online.
Bruininks Hall


  • Be safe and keep it legal.
  • Only non-explosive fireworks are legal in Minneapolis. (i.e. sparklers, cones, tubes that spark, snakes and party poppers).
  • Exploding fireworks or those that take off are illegal in Minneapolis. (i.e. firecrackers, bottle rockets, missiles, roman candles, mortars and shells)
  • Fireworks should only be used on private property in your yard or sidewalk.
  • Do not use fireworks on public property such as roads, alleys, schools or parks.
  • The City of Minneapolis requests that any noise complaints on 4th of July be submitted online via 311 or the 311 mobile app to keep the 911 lines available for more serious issues like injuries or fires from fireworks.
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Community Housing Forums

From time to time, we host Community Housing Forums to help you stay informed on upcoming city council ordinance changes or policies being discussed on or near campus. We will share notes and summaries after the forums to help you stay informed and learn what you can do to make your voice heard.

Student Affordable Housing Town Hall hosted by Minnesota Student Association

Oct. 17, 6pm-8pm, Humphrey Room 50B
Join MSA and Council Member Steve Fletcher to hear about your housing experiences and also how you envision affordable housing in the campus area. We will give updates on upcoming city policies, answer questions, and brainstorm how these will apply to and shape student apartments.

Community Housing Forum (hosted by OCL)

(July 30, 5:30pm-7:30pm at 312 Bruininks Hall)

Included presentations by Minneapolis City Council members Cam Gordon (Ward 2) and Steve Fletcher (Ward 3) as well as MN State Senator Kari Dziedzic (district 60) and then breakout discussions at individual tables between stakeholders

Summary documents:

-powerpoint presentation

-notes from forum